Vaccines and autoimmune diseases of the adult

Discov Med. 2010 Feb;9(45):90-7.


Infectious agents contribute to the environmental factors involved in the development of autoimmune diseases possibly through molecular mimicry mechanisms. Hence, it is feasible that vaccinations may also contribute to the mosaic of autoimmunity. Evidence for the association of vaccinations and the development of these diseases is presented in this review. Infrequently reported post-vaccination autoimmune diseases include systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory myopathies, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and vasculitis. In addition, we will discuss macrophagic myofasciitis, aluminum containing vaccines, and the recent evidence for autoimmunity following the use of human papillomavirus vaccine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / etiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / etiology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / virology
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Communicable Diseases / virology
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / etiology
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / etiology
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology
  • Papillomaviridae / metabolism
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Vasculitis / etiology


  • Vaccines